Yes, it certainly is a balance! No greater emphasis should be put on one area over the others (with the exception of reading comprehension). Sight words are typically extremely beneficial for early readers who get frustrated when words don’t follow the “rules”. This is the only area of reading where I feel like memorization is beneficial, in context with all the other reading strategies, of course.
Strengthen your child's comprehension skills by asking questions while reading. For younger children, encourage them to engage with the pictures (e.g. “Do you see the boat? What color is the cat?”). For older children, ask questions about what you've just read, like “Why do you think the little bird was afraid?” “When did Sophie realize she had special powers?”

When your child reads, get her to retell the story or information. If it’s a story, ask who it was about and what happened. If it’s an informational text, have your child explain what it was about and how it worked, or what its parts were. Reading involves not just sounding out words, but thinking about and remembering ideas and events. Improving reading comprehension skills early will prepare her for subsequent success in more difficult texts.
The key to increasing your child’s reading volume is motivation. Choose books that match your child’s interest. Or, explore reading with other media your child loves. Is she a fan of princesses? There is a world of online fairy tales for her to explore. Kids who love superheroes can enjoy easy-reader comic books. Don’t be too picky about what your child reads at this age. Captain Underpants may be more meaningful than Little House on the Prairie — and that’s fine!
Hi Mama Kim. I’m sorry to hear that things are not going so well. Firstly let me assure you that he is NOT too young to learn to read; as a matter of fact he is the perfect age for you to start. Secondly, the flash cards really do work; they only get boring if you are trying to “hammer” the words into your sons head. No child has that much concentration that’s why lessons are really, really short (I’m talking 5 seconds at a time here!). If you do only 5 words at a time several times a day you should find that he is progressing without it getting boring for him or for you. If you want more details on how to do this you will find everything you need in the “Teach Your Child To Read & Reading with Phonics” reading method. I hope this helps and I'm sure your son will be reading in no time at all! :)
Reading to your child is great — but what’s even better is something called “dialogic” reading. That’s when you ask your child to participate in the story. Before turning the page, ask your child what he thinks will happen next. You can also ask your child what other way the book could have ended. For example, with the classic book Corduroy, what would have happened if the little girl hadn’t come back to take Corduroy home from the toy store?

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. Our reading resources assist parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Ultimately, it’s your decision as the parent. The children with a best results and the parents who feel the most rewarding experience, are those who sit down with their child and go through the program. We know that as a parent you may have other responsibilities that take up your time, so we have specifically designed Reading Head Start to be so simple, even a child with zero computer experience can use it on their own as well!
I taught my daughter to read using "The Reading Lesson", but I used [[ASIN:0671631985 Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons]] to teach my first child. Both books use a similar approach. I believe that "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" gives the teacher (parent) a stronger foundation in teaching reading, and I used some of the tools I had gained from experiencing that method when teaching my daughter. The strength of "The Reading Lesson" is it's child-friendly appearance and approach. "Teach Your Child to Read..." is fully scripted and has the parent's script and child's assignments jammed together. My son hated it after ... full review
Reading Head Start guaranteed to work quickly for children even as young as 2 a reading system unlike anything else out there and works even if today’s the first time you have even thought about how important it is, your child learns to read as early as possible. Even if your child currently is unable to recite the alphabet, whatsoever your child doesn’t even show a shred of interest in learning to read at all right now. This program will work even if you feel as if you have already tried everything there is to try. This system is designed to be more like a virtual babysitter than an actual reading system. This is the better way of teaching your child English than this, making it has the sole purpose in life to create something different. Something that would turn the tables on the school board and make it so you never have to worry about your child’s success in school again. It was after tirelessly digging up endless research on how babies naturally learn to speak.
In today’s education system, being able to read at an early age is definitely a great advantage for our children. As parents surely we want our children to be able to grasp the concepts of what being taught at school, in any subject without any difficulties in the future. To do that, it’s better for them to start early and get a head start on their reading skills.
​If you’re a parent then you probably already know that it’s absolutely essential to get a head start on kids’ reading at an early age. Not only does early reading success lead to reading success as your child continues to grow, but it serves as an accurate predictor of academic success across the board, at every level and in every subject. In short, it becomes nearly impossible for students to catch up if reading skills are not mastered early.
Other ways to support the reading process is through educational toys and games. These can be as simple as handmade index cards and self-drawn posters or as expensive as computer programs and video games designed for young children. Montessori schools employ a number of excellent methods to strengthen a child's growing literacy. A child can learn to write letters in a tray filled with sand, or rice or pudding. Your child could make letters out of dyed mashed potato and eat her words! You could buy french fries in the shape of letters and spell out your child's name. You could buy a child's computer to introduce her to the keyboard. You could let her draw on your sidewalk in chalk. You could cover a wall with white board so your child can scribble, draw, and practice writing. This could even be the place where you leave her a daily message such as "I love you" or "Good night". Don't be surprised if one day your child writes the same words for you!

Point to the place in your mouth/throat where you are naming that sound, and have them imitate it. You can also make up a motion for each letter sound and remind them which ones are in a designated word. Looking up rhymes online to remember these may help. It may also help to write the words out and point to each letter as you make the sound for visual learners. Remember to be a good example and always speak clearly. If you are talking to your child and they say something incorrectly, just clearly repeat that word in your response, without embarrassing your child. If your child is still having trouble, have him tested for a speech disorder.
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Parents, it turns out, are pretty crummy reading instructors, especially when they break out the flash cards, handwriting worksheets, rewards charts and other traditional tools we all know and hate. “You don’t know what you’re doing,” Willingham says of parents in general. “If your child encounters real difficulty, there’s a good chance the child will go to school and think, ‘Reading? Oh, that’s that thing Mom and Dad bug me about, and it’s hard for me to figure out, and I don’t like it much.’ Then the teacher has to try and overcome that first negative experience your child has had.”
Also, it’s important to note that not all books will fit into one of these genres, especially books that are considered “phonics readers.”  I would suggest that you do this exercise only with high-quality children’s literature, not with books that are attempting to get your child to “sound-out” on their own.  Most picture books found in children’s libraries will fit into one of these genres.
By taking pictures of readers’ brains as the students were reading, researchers observed which parts of the brain were active during the reading process. The researchers also saw that the active areas of the brain differed slightly for poor readers and for good readers. After using an intervention to help poor readers become better readers and overcome reading difficulties, the brain activity patterns of the poor readers during reading changed to look more like those who did not have reading problems. For more on this finding, visit http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/Pages/brain_function.aspx.
Upon getting it in the mail, I read the introduction. It picks a few sounds to teach and has kids reading very basic words with the high frequency sounds, adding sounds and words to the mix as it goes along. Brilliant! How I never thought of this on my own is beyond me. On top of that, it's scripted, which makes it so easy. It instructs you exactly what you should do if your kiddo makes a mistake, and how to praise when they get it right.

Reading the Alphabet is the framework I use for teaching my boys to read — but because my older son has been recognizing words and starting to sound them out for quite some time, I move at an accelerated pace.  My three-year-old still needs some alphabet reinforcement, so I just do the simpler activities with him.    They’re both learning and growing – at just the right pace for each of them.

I don’t agree with this 100%. There are a lot of great helpful tips and ideas listed here but my son learned how to spell AND write his name when he was 1.5, by age 2 he knew the whole alphabet by sight and sound, he’s almost 3 now and he has been taking an interest in reading. He asks his father and I (his mother), “What’s that say?” as he points to a word and after we tell him the word or even sometimes a sentence he’ll start spelling it out. This summer I am going to get serious about teaching him how to read and I do believe it is possible. Do I think he’ll be reading perfectly at a 1st grade level? Definitely not but even if he learns how to spell 5-10 words then he’s still learning how to read (he already knows how to spell 3 words) so technically my 2 year old is already starting to read.
Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child's life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk.

Terrific post! My 4 year old is starting to ask me what random words start with and I have known for a while it was time to move forward with “reading” but didn’t have a clue how to proceed. Alphabet games and crafts will be great to continue learning letter sounds. Also, thank you for using wonderful pics of completely normal home crafts (“S” and the bingo game), and not dolled up pinterest ones. It feels accessible to everyone.
Last year, I spent lots of time with our brand new granddaughter, Emily. I drowned her in language. Although “just a baby,” I talked — and sang — to her about everything. I talked about her eyes, nose, ears, mouth, and fingers. I told her all about her family — her mom, dad, and older brother. I talked to her about whatever she did (yawning, sleeping, eating, burping). I talked to her so much that her parents thought I was nuts; she couldn’t possibly understand me yet. But reading is a language activity, and if you want to learn language, you’d better hear it, and eventually, speak it. Too many moms and dads feel a bit dopey talking to a baby or young child, but studies have shown that exposing your child to a variety of words helps in her development of literacy skills.

I’ve taught 1st grade for five years. I’ve also taught 2nd and 4th. From my experience reading is not only about word call and decoding. Your child needs to look at the print, slide their finger under what they are reading, get their mouth ready and sound it out. Work with word families and use an easy reader that has the word family in it. When you begin a story reload the vocabulary. You can use magnetic letter, dry erase markers on a table to to sound out main words in the story. For example if you have an easy reader that uses the family -op, then work and teach words that are in the story like mop, top, etc. Then when the child sees the word in print in the context of the story they should be able to recognize the family and use decoding skills to figure out the word. Don’t ever tell them the word b/c then they will get use to having someone read the words to them and they do not use the strategies taught. One last thing, your daughter is only five. Fluent reading normally doesn’t kick in til mid first grade. She just may not be developmentally ready to just pick up a book and read. Keep doing what you are doing and use the suggestions above and you will see progress. Don’t stress. Your daughter is already ahead of most of her kinder peers already.


I purchased Reading Head Start for my 3-year-old daughter last year and she still loves it. Now, after one year, she is reading between 2nd and 4th grade levels. Obviously, we have been reading together through that time, but Reading Head Start was the right choice to teach her to sound out words and learn basic sight words. And we all love the letter sounds song! By: Brenda S.
Reading to your child is great — but what’s even better is something called “dialogic” reading. That’s when you ask your child to participate in the story. Before turning the page, ask your child what he thinks will happen next. You can also ask your child what other way the book could have ended. For example, with the classic book Corduroy, what would have happened if the little girl hadn’t come back to take Corduroy home from the toy store?
This is an absolutely wonderful book! We are a homeschool family. My wife handles most of the lessons, but I teach each child to read when they show interest around 4 or 5 years old. My oldest daughter is 18. She is an avid reader. I started her off on this book when she was five years old. So far I have taught six of my children how to read using this book. I'm about to start on number seven. My youngest son is four years old and has started to show interest. (In case you are wondering, there a ...more
The reason why over 91% of parents report a noticeable improvement in their child’s reading skills after using Reading Eggs is because the program is based on solid scientific research. Using the five essential keys to reading success, the program unlocks all aspects of learning to read for your child, focusing on a core curriculum of phonics and phonemic awareness, sight words, vocabulary, comprehension, and reading for meaning.
The more a kid reads the better their reading skills will be.  That being said, beginning readers don't really read.  To get kids to practice reading teachers use predictable books.  Predictable books have the same basic sentence on each page.  The only change from page to page is one word--this word is usually related to the picture on the page.  For example, in the book below, the basic sentence is "I put in the _______."  This basic sentence is on all the pages of the book.  The only part that changes is the last word.  Kid's can figure out what that word is by looking at the picture.  While reading predictable books, kids are practicing to read.  Eventually, kids begin to recognize different words and internalize reading behavior.

I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed my article and I’m very excited to hear that you are going to teach your daughter to read; I must admit that at times it can be a challenge but it is definitely worth the effort :) If you need any more help I have quite a few more articles on my website (www.teachyourchildtoreadin30days.com) which may be of help too.

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Books for babies should have simple, repetitive text and clear pictures. During the first few months of life, your child just likes to hear your voice, so you can read almost anything, especially books with a sing-song or rhyming text. As your baby gets more interested in looking at things, choose books with simple pictures against solid backgrounds.
Consider a birthday-party book swap. When your child is at the picture-book stage, ask guests to bring a wrapped book instead of gifts, and have everyone choose one on the way out. (Don’t forget to also wrap one from the birthday child — who gets to pick first!) It’s nicer than goody bags filled with candy or plastic toys, and teaches children that books are special.With older children, have guests bring an unwrapped book, and have them choose from the pile. Determine the order by pulling numbers from a hat, or through a contest or game.
If your child substitutes one word for another while reading, see if it makes sense. If your child uses the word "dog" instead of "pup," for example, the meaning is the same. Do not stop the reading to correct him. If your child uses a word that makes no sense (such as "road" for "read"), ask him to read the sentence again because you are not sure you understand what has just been read. Recognize your child's energy limits. Stop each session at or before the earliest signs of fatigue or frustration.
They let you look beyond words. Some of the great picture book are wordless, like Jerry Pinkney’s “The Lion & the Mouse,” David Wiesner’s “Flotsam” and Suzy Lee’s “Wave.” Wordless books are a fantastic opportunity to build your child’s visual literacy and help teach how to decipher images. Try it: Invite your child to tell you what is happening on each page and then ask, “What makes you say that?”
I agree this is an awesome price, and in general I admire This Reading Mama a lot! I wish I knew about her curriculum 3 years ago when I taught my daughter to read starting before she was even 3. I used http://progressivephonics.com/. It’s also free, and comes with the same hassle of downloading and printing all the material. It was totally worth it though as Ms Smarty Pants was reading fluently at 3.5. So, yes, I am very much with you – you CAN teach your preschooler to read.

Do not worry about grammar.. Preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders are very concrete in the way they think and cannot handle complicated concepts. By age four, most English speaking children already have an excellent grasp of grammar and in due time, they will learn all the formal grammatical rules. At this point, you need to concentrate only on the mechanical skill of reading, that is learning to decode new words and incorporating them in memory to build fluency.
Students think of something that has happened to them personally, sketch a picture, and then write about it. They may start by just labeling the picture, or they may be writing several sentences. I sometimes draw lines for each of the words they tell me, so they can see where they should be writing (for example, if they say, “I went to the park.” I would draw __ _______ ____ _____ ________).
To make meaningful connections with the printed word, children need rich and varied life experiences. A kid who has never strayed from the inner-city will not get much from a story about farm life. A kid who has never visited an aquarium will not have the background needed to comprehend a text on marine life. Moms and dads can boost comprehension by remembering the mantra: Comprehension is the key that turns sounding out into reading. They can engage in the following activities.

The reason why over 91% of parents report a noticeable improvement in their child’s reading skills after using Reading Eggs is because the program is based on solid scientific research. Using the five essential keys to reading success, the program unlocks all aspects of learning to read for your child, focusing on a core curriculum of phonics and phonemic awareness, sight words, vocabulary, comprehension, and reading for meaning.


They make facts fun. Not every picture book has to tell a story. Many of the most memorable approach their role differently: They show fascinating information about life, often broken up into bite-sized chunks. The books of Richard Scarry, for example, give children a lot of stuff to look at (and sneak in ministories that don’t require a long commitment). For many children, picture books that are organized like catalogs or encyclopedias are even more compelling than stories, and even the most story-loving child likes to occasionally get lost in these “fact books.”
Cut out simple cards and write a word containing three sounds on each one (e.g. ram, sat, pig, top, sun, pot, fin). Invite your child to choose a card, then read the word together and hold up three fingers. Ask them to say the first sound they hear in the word, then the second, and then the third. This simple activity requires little prep‑time and builds essential phonics and decoding skills (helping them learn how to sound out words). If your child is just starting out with learning the letters of the alphabet, focus on the sound each letter makes, more so than letter names.

​​​​My son Jake ABSOLUTELY LOVES Reading Head Start!!! I've tried a few reading programs in the past and he's quickly lost interest in all of them. Reading Head Start has been so fantastic because you guys are always adding new content to engage him. He's constantly asking to log on and see what's new. Whats made all the difference is that you actually have made this as much about parents as you have the kids. You've shown me how to best teach my child and that's empowering to say the least! Now I REALLY CANT WAIT to send him off to school and get back that first report card! This has been a blessing for our family." *Disclaimer: Individual results may vary.


Have your child practice decoding. Classically known as ‘sounding out’ words, decoding is when a child reads a word by making the sounds of each individual letter, rather than trying to read the whole word at once. Reading is broken up into two primary parts: decoding/reading a word, and comprehending its meaning. Don’t expect your child to recognize and comprehend words just yet; have them focus on decoding and sounding out word parts..
I agree this is an awesome price, and in general I admire This Reading Mama a lot! I wish I knew about her curriculum 3 years ago when I taught my daughter to read starting before she was even 3. I used http://progressivephonics.com/. It’s also free, and comes with the same hassle of downloading and printing all the material. It was totally worth it though as Ms Smarty Pants was reading fluently at 3.5. So, yes, I am very much with you – you CAN teach your preschooler to read.
Could it just be possible that if babies learn to speak from listening to words? Can children learn to read by listening to letters? How successful your child becomes in life, all comes down to these first few years? Are you worried about your child delayed learning disability and completely skeptical? Instead of teaching your child to read the word as a whole what if we separated each letter. Here, Reading Head Start creates even more advanced theories on how to quickly teach any child to read. This system is for teaching any child to read at any age 3 more weeks passed by still only spending 15 minutes per night, only 3 nights per week using this system. This system to make the reading system available to every single parent who loves their child wanting nothing but the best head start they can give them, to being successful in both school and life.
If you're nodding along to these questions, you're the perfect candidate to teach your child to read. Sadly, too many parents have the misconception that reading must be taught by trained educators and requires a pricey phonics kit, worksheets, alphabet cards, special books, and other resources. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody is better suited to teach a youngster how to read than her own parents!
My daughter just finished lesson 25, and the transformation is amazing. She's gone from mixing up letters to reading simple sentences such as, "The cat is in the sack. The sack is near the man." On top of that, because she has experienced success herself, she is proud of herself and far more willing to engage in the activities! I won't lie; at first it was like pulling teeth, and mommy needed a big glass of mommy juice after a lesson. But she now picks the book up on her own in the morning and practices all by herself.
​​My 2 year old son absolutely goes mental for Reading Head Start! He’s actually choosing the members area over television and its the first thing he wants to do when he wakes up after his nap. No word of a lie but I absolutely get why. If I was his age again, I’d  love it too! Just wanted to send out my quick thanks!” *Disclaimer: Individual results may vary. – Carol Ruby

I didn't make him repeat stuff as much as the book said, unless he was having trouble with a particular word. I let him set the learning pace so that he didn't get bored or overly frustrated. Only made it to lesson 70-something where the lessons start to repeat but without the special writing to help you pronounce the words. But he is reading books himself no ...more
From the point of view of reading, child development experts stress the importance of knowing the alphabet. You can sing the alphabet song along with your child, show him flashcards, or write the letters in sand, finger paint, or crayon. As the child gets older, you can start connecting the alphabet to the letter sounds ("d as in duh") and to words ("d for dog").You can name objects around the house and stress the beginning letters. You could also purchase specific learning kits and instructional materials designed to teach your child to read, through a step-by-step process.
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